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South Sudan Watch Update 25

Grim Independence Day

9th July marked 6 years of independence for South Sudan but the country cancelled the national celebrations due to economic crisis that the country is facing. President Salva Kiir said during a speech to commemorate the 6 years of independence that his administration did not find it appropriate to spend the little funds they had to celebrate when people cannot afford meals.

South Sudan has been hit hard since 2013 when war broke out. Famine has loomed large in many parts of the country with thousands of nationals fleeing to neighboring countries. Inflation, rampant corruption and a near collapse of the oil industry the largest source of government revenue nearly brought the government in Juba to its knees.  Continued fighting between rebels and government forces that led to the largest refugee crisis in the region, are key to the six -year old country.

The president called upon the international community including the EAC and IGAD to offer support to the National Dialogue that he believes will bring about lasting peace. He also rejected the renegotiation of the August 2015 peace agreement saying that it would be counterproductive despite the opposition forces arguing the agreement long collapsed.

South Sudan Youth join peace appeal

The South Sudan Young Leadership Forum (SSYLF) urged the president of Uganda to support the renewed peace process spearheaded by the IGAD leaders. The SSYLF made these remarks in Nairobi on their way to Uganda rallying regional leaders to give leadership to South Sudan.

The group wants the youth who for long have been overlooked in the peace processes to take up an active part in the process. They believe that having Museveni at the helm of this move will bring the regional stakeholders together to embrace a fresher thinking in the intervention in the South Sudan crisis.

The SSYLF yesterday met Ugandan diplomats and civil society organizations where they shared their vision for the country they would want to have and made a call to the diplomats and civil society organizations to advocate for an intervention for the people of South Sudan as well as the refugees who are in the various countries.

 3 UN workers kidnapped

UNICEF earlier this week announced that 3 of its aid workers were abducted by what they believe are rebel forces. The trio were working for a company called Montrose which was contracted by UNICEF in Pagak. Pagak is largely controlled by the SPLA-IO which is loyal to Riek Macher.

 The deputy spokesperson of the armed group, Col. Lam Paul refuted the claims saying that his group did not abduct the workers and that the rebel group under Riek Macher does not harass or attack NGOs or UN staff because they help the people who are in need of what they have to offer.

Juba admits attacking Pagak

The Juba administration admitted to launching offenses in the Pagak area against the rebel group that is under Riek Macher. Pagak is considered a stronghold for the SPLA-IO led by Riek Macher and was attacked by government forces who claimed that the rebels did not observe the ceasefire agreement.

The presidential adviser Daniel Awet said that the rebels did not declare a ceasefire and went ahead to attack civilians, taking them hostage. More than 4500 civilians have been displaced from their homes in the area and at least 25 aid workers have been forced to relocate as well.

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